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Although burial principally occurs in purpose designed cemeteries or churchyards, there are some exceptions.

Families with large estates have routinely built a mausoleum or similar building on their land, for the burial of family members. Some individuals have been buried in farmland and others in gardens, without this becoming generally known. More recently, this form of burial has obtained media coverage and numbers have significantly increased. Much of this has been due to the Natural Death Centre, a charity formed to support a less formalised routine for funerals, as well as a better approach to death generally. They have issued a handbook and a further publication called "Green Burial", which explain how to arrange these burials within legal and planning requirements.

There are several advantages of this form of burial. It allows you to organise a very personal funeral, in which you maintain total control. You are able to reduce costs significantly by avoiding the use of a funeral director, by making your own coffin or dispensing with this altogether, and not having to purchase a grave in a cemetery. It is essential that you obtain permission to complete a burial, where you are not the landowner of the ground involved. You are also advised to notify any individual or mortgage company that has an interest in the property. Access to the grave may be denied or restricted by change of ownership.

The difficulties are also significant, although these vary according to the location. Most locations fall into two categories, on farmland and in a garden.

Charter Rights

It is your right to receive factual information on burial in private land from your Charter member.